The VIPP Report: Tickets go on sale today for legendary ‘Supreme’ Diana Ross

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Courtesy: Louisville Palace Promotions

Ross will ease on down to the Palace in 2020.  The superstar will be in Louisville at the Louisville Palace on Sunday, February 23rd

Ross is one of the most successful recording artists of our time.  The Motown legend got her start as the lead singer for the Supremes and then went on to have an unbelievable solo career with hits like “I’m Coming Out”, “Endless Love”,” “Touch Me in the Morning” just to name a handful of her mega hits. 

The multi-Grammy Award winning performer will be backed up by a six-piece band during her show.  Her last performance in Louisville was April 26, 2012.

Tickets go on sale today at 10:00 am for the Louisville, Kentucky concert.

If you have a story idea, send it to thevippreport@vippcommunications,com.  Follow us on Twitter @thevippreport.   

The VIPP Report: Preparing area youth to be the greatest in the arts arena

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A NEW THEATER ALONG THE MUHAMMAD ALI ARTS, CULTURE & INNOVATION DISTRICT
LCCC RAISES ROOF FOR GRAND LYRIC THEATER            

Louisville Central Community Centers, the developer of the Muhammad Ali Arts, Culture and Innovation District, is constructing a performing arts facility to support its Kids Art Academy and the continued development of the district at its’ Old Walnut Street Development at 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

On Friday, February 15, 2019 at 10:00 am there will be a roof raising ceremony with key stakeholders in the community, LCCC and advocators to bring Muhammad Ali Blvd back to life will be in attendance to lend their support.  Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith, an arts enthusiast, former Councilman David Tandy, Fund for the Arts’ CEO, Christen Boone, and representatives of the Norton Foundation and the Gheens Foundation all have confirmed their participation in the ceremony.  Representatives of the LCCC Kids Art Academy, the Tiny Tykes Theater Troupe and the Youth Repertory Theater Troupe of Louisville will perform to celebrate this achievement.

During the era between 1940-60’s, there was a theatre that was considered the hub where artists showcased their talents, which many went on to become professional entertainers performing alongside entertainment legends.  So, in 2019 we will revitalize the name The Grand Theater and Lyric Theater on historic Old Walnut Street in Louisville, KY in hopes of bringing life back into the arts and the community with a rich history in arts and entertainment.

The Grand Lyric Theater will consist of 300 seats and will be home to LCCC’s Kids Art Academy, a youth arts education program with a focus on all facets of performing arts.  It currently serves hundreds of school-age youth annually and has produced theater troupe sell-out productions of “Broadway-quality” musicals as “Beauty and The Beast”, “Black Nativity”, “A Christmas Carol”, “Once On This Island” and the nationally acclaimed show, “The Wiz.”. This state-of-the art facility will also service as another venue that community groups will use the facility for training, rehearsals and performances.

National experts from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) of Washington, DC endorsed LCCC’s economic revitalization vision by recommending to our community that Muhammad Ali Blvd. between 6th to 21st Streets be transformed into a cultural arts commercial district to help create a vibrant corridor that supports economic development and job creation west of Ninth Street.  This plan aligns itself with what use to be the historic Walnut Street (now known as Muhammad Ali Blvd.) between 6th to 15th Streets, which was once the commercial heart of the black community that contained thriving businesses, professional offices, restaurants and entertainment venues prior to the razing of the commercial district by an urban renewal plan in the 1960s. This plan has been included with support of Louisville Metro and Louisville Metro Housing Authority as an important part of the transformation of Russell.

Partial funding has been provided by U. S. Housing & Urban Development through its community development block grant to the city of Louisville and a number of private sources.  To complete the theater, additional sponsors are needed to support:

  • lighting, sound and recording systems – $265,000
  • main stage, staging area and loading dock area – $140,000
  • rehearsal, restrooms and dressing rooms – $270,000
  • lobby, vestibule and restrooms – $250,000
  • seating, coat check and storage – $280,000

To setup an interview to discuss the Grand Lyric Theater and/or to setup a tour after the roof raising contact VIPP Communications at booking@vippcommunications.com.  We will see you on Friday, February 15th for the ceremony.  Please arrive at least 15 minutes in advance so you can be in position to get everything you need for your stories.

Louisville Central Community Centers Inc. is celebrating its 70th year of service to residents of the Russell neighborhood and west Louisville community.  As an anchor institution, It provides an array of services including early childhood education, youth development, workforce development training, small business and neighborhood development activities.

#CreateGrandThings

The VIPP Report: Kin Killin’ Kin Artist James Pate Visits Louisville

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(Louisville, KY) The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage is exhibiting James Pate’s KKK Series Kin Killin’ Kin Traveling Art Exhibition September 14 – November 12, 2018. The artist James Pate will give a gallery talk during the opening reception on Friday, September 21, 2018, 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Pate will discuss what motivated him to create Kin Killin’ Kin featuring scenes of young African-American men donned in Ku Klux Klan hoods committing acts of violence, creating an overt comparison between gang violence and the terrorism of the KKK. Pate says, “the numbers of Blacks killed by other Blacks since reconstruction far exceeds those lynched by “Whites”. Sadly, this pattern continued year after year, up to the present day”. The Center for Disease Control cites homicide as the leading cause of death for Black males between the age of 15 and 34.

Pate’s Kin Killin’ Kin is designed to shock and stop the viewer. Pate says “mainly, I want kids to pause and reflect”.

To close out the exhibition, a Youth Voices Against Violence Forum will held at the Heritage Center on Saturday, November 3, 2018, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. During this forum, District 15 Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton will facilitate a panel of youth from our community who will discuss the themes of gun violence and other forms of violence occurring in our society today. This panel of youth will examine the themes of gun violence within the context of public health, bystander action, healing through arts, and mobilizing for change through community dialogues.

Kin Killin’ Kin curator Willis Bing Davis says, “art holds the power to promote change”. For Davis, that’s partly because art is a language that everyone understands. “It is the universal connection of the art,” he said. “Art is one of the things that touches all of us.” Art is also a liberating language, he says. “Sometimes the art can say something that we can’t say in words.”

The Heritage Center views this exhibition as a powerful tool to promote community dialogue and community action by delving deeper into the themes of the exhibit, highlighting current efforts in violence prevention in Metro Louisville and cultivating the youth voice in the community. The Heritage Center recognizes the increase in gun violence and its impact on the communities it serves and presents Kin Killin’ Kin for the community to take action.

If you would like to setup an interview and/or tour the exhibit, contact Sherlene Shanklin with VIPP Communications at 502-295-0435 or by email info@vippcommunications.com.  We hope you are able to post on your calendars so your viewers and/or listeners get an opportunity to see the exhibit while in Louisville.

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The VIPP Report: The Soul of Russell Arts & Cultural Festival will be held at the Heritage Center in the heart of the Russell Neighborhood

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(Louisville, KY) The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) in collaboration with the Kentucky Music Heritage Foundation presents the Soul of Russell Arts & Cultural Festival August 24th & 25th.  The Soul of Russell Arts and Cultural Festival will be two amazing nights celebrating the blues and jazz tradition in Kentucky at the Heritage Center in Louisville.

On Friday, August 24th, 2018 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm local blues and jazz artists will perform Saluting Past Blues and Jazz Giants from Kentucky, showcasing artists: Tanita Gaines, Karan Chavis, Carla Reisert and the Midwest Creole Ensemble, will perform music remembering Mary Anne Fisher, Helen Humes, Sara Martin, Barrington “Boogie” Martin, William “Roach” Cochram, and special tribute to Bluesman Steve Ferguson.

On Saturday, August 25th from 1:00 pm to 4:00pm, the festival will take you back in history with Kentucky Music from 1840s through the 1920s.  At 1:00 pm it’s Gallery Talk: Doug Van Buren About the Exhibition by the Kentucky Music Heritage Foundation currently on display at KCAAH.  This conversation is scheduled to conclude around 2:15 pm (approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes).

From 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm its From Jug Band to Blues and Jazz.  Michael L. Jones and Keith S. Clements will facilitate a presentation and discussion about the rich history of Jug Band Music the origin of Blues and Jazz in Kentucky. These two presentations are free and open to the public.

Also, on Saturday evening, August 25th from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm it’s the Soulful Sounds of Derby Town.  The evening will showcase some of Louisville’s rich talent featuring Robbie Bartlett, Marjorie Marshall, Paula Yarbrough, Ron Lewis “Mr. Wonderful” and The Villeffect Band.

This year’s mistress of ceremony for both evenings will be The Glamour Girl of Comedy Kimberly Vaughn.  The Heritage Center is located in the heart of the Russell Neighborhood at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.  Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and/or $35 for both nights

 If you would like to setup an interview and/or covering this year’s Soul of Russell Arts & Cultural Festival contact VIPP Communications at 502-582-7216 or by email at info@vippcommunications.com.

For additional information visit the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage at http://www.kcaah.org  Follow us on our social media platforms: Twitter @kygriot/FB @kygriot.

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The VIPP Report: Ring in the New Year in a “SUPER” Way

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Let your “last supper” of the year be at Superchefs

(Louisville, KY) We’re in countdown mode to see 2017 to come an end.  As part of Superchef’s New Year’s Eve Celebration we invite you to Superchef’s Final Dinner Service. You get to enjoy a five-course meal, “Chef’s Whim”, alcohol pairings and then a champagne toast at midnight for $100 per person.

The celebration begins at 9:00 pm and ends shortly after the ball drops at 12:30 am. You can come alone or bring a date.  We guarantee you will have a good time and end your year with great food, fellowship and fun atmosphere.

If you are interested in attending the “Last Supper”, please call and make reservations because seating is limited and you don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to eat a variety of delectable dishes from one of the industry’s top chefs, Darnell “Superchef” Ferguson and his dynamic team.

Darnell says “I’m really excited about our final dinner service.  It signifies the ending of one endeavor but it’s also represents the beginning of something new.  We all need a fresh start, so why not bring in 2018 around friends while enjoying the “Super Chef” experience.”

The author of “Knowing is half the fight…Cooking is the other” will share with his guests what’s ahead for the restaurant and opportunities that will give him more visibility not only in Louisville but nationally.

Super Chefs located at 1702 Bardstown Road in the heart of the Highlands.  To reserve your seat you can call 502-409-8103 or by going to www.eatsuperchefs.com/.

We would love the opportunity to have Darnell “Super Chef” Ferguson on your show.  He can discuss the “Last Supper”, Superchef’s new lunch delivery service and/or his book while preparing one of his famous dishes in studio or by doing a live shot from his kitchen please contact VIPP Communications at 502-295-0435 or by email at info@vippcommunications.com.

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The VIPP Report: Louisville, KY played an integral part in the success of journalist & civil rights leader Ida B. Wells

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THE TWO-WOMAN PLAY IS SET DURING THE TURN OF THE CENTURY BUT IRONICALLY RESEMBLES TODAY’S SOCIETUIAL ISSUES

(LOUISVILLE, KY) The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) in collaboration with Simmons College of Kentucky presents: Miss Ida B. Wells, a play by Endesha Ida Mae B. Wells and directed by Nefertiti Burton. There will be two performances on Sunday, October 22nd at the KCAAH located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. The afternoon matinee begins at 3:30 p.m. and the evening show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Ida B. Wells was a civil rights pioneer and one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, (NAACP), and journalist.  She was very influential because she had the gift of writing but she never received money for craft. That untold story brings you to Louisville. Rev. Dr. William J. Simmons, born a slave became the publisher of the American Baptist Newspaper, President of the National Press Association and the second president of the college we know today as Simmons College of Kentucky, a HBCU. Rev. Simmons paid Wells for her stories and made her a correspondent for the paper.  Wells went on to be known as the “Princess of the Press” and traveled to write for the American Baptist.

Tickets for Ida B. Wells are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. You can purchase at KCAAH or Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/miss-ida-b-wells-tickets-38476552404.

To setup an interview and/or short performance contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com. 

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The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage’s (KCAAH) mission is to enhance the public’s knowledge about the history, heritage and cultural contributions of African Americans in Kentucky. In addition to its commitment to preserving the traditions and accomplishments of the past, the Center is a vital, contemporary institution, providing space for cultural programs, exhibitions and performances of all types. KCAAH’s brand is “One More River to Cross,” a history examined through Kentucky stories about African American history from its African origins through the Freedom Struggle against slavery and Jim Crow laws, to the modern Civil and Human Rights Movements in the 20th century.

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The VIPP Report: 5th Annual African Heritage Festival kicks off in Louisville on August 25th

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A Celebration of Unity, Art, Culture, & History Across the African Diaspora

The 5th Annual African Heritage Festival will be held in various locations around the city of Louisville Friday, August 25th through Sunday August 27th.  The event celebrates unity, culture, art and history across the African Diaspora.

The festival is hosted by Bridge Kids International, the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (KCAAH), the Kentucky Old School Sports Association (KOSSA), HoneyTree Publishing, and Moments to Remember.

The African Heritage Festival is organized by a dynamic team representing a variety of countries and backgrounds. The whole city is invited to this unifying event that will be fun, educational, and certainly full of flavor. Last year’s festival drew approximately 2000 participants, and with this year’s new additions, we only anticipate that the celebration will continue to grow.

Opening Ceremony — Friday, August 25th – Kentucky Center for African American Heritage:

Opening Ceremony will kick off the weekend with a reception and program honoring African heritage, culture, history and art.

Festival Day — Saturday, August 26th

The African Heritage Festival will be a joyous event for the whole family with great food, music, dance, sports, theater, fashion, cultural demonstrations, children’s activities, resources for healthy living and so much more. What a great way to honor African, African-American and Caribbean cultures in Louisville and add to the revitalization efforts in the historic Russell neighborhood. All activities are free and open to the public. Some highlights include:

  • 8:00am: Soccer Tournament Begins – Champions Park, 2050 River Road soccer tournament held at Champions Park, organized by KOSSA, featuring 10 teams from at least 5 states with players representing 20 countries of origin
  • 10:00am:  Parade Begins – a parade of marching bands, dance teams, bicycle groups, community organizations and more down Muhammad Ali Blvd. starting at 9th Street and ending at 18th Street where the festival will take place in front of the KCAAH
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm: the widely beloved Books & Breakfast!
  • 11:00am: Festival activities begin and will feature live entertainment, “Under the Story Tree” storytelling fest, and other children’s activities. Food, merchandise and informational vendors from across the city and the surrounding region will be in attendance.
  • 12:00pm: Basketball tournament begins – a street basketball tournament presented by KOSSA and the organizers of the Dirt Bowl
  • 12:00pm – 5:00pm: A how-to fair with community members teaching useful and fun things
  • 7:00pm: Festival ends

 Sunday, August 27th – Invoke… Called by the Ancestors (performance begins 2:30 pm)

This year, we are excited to announce that a third day will be incorporated into the festival! Please come out on Sunday, August 27th for “Invoke … Called by the Ancestors” performed by Sankofa Dance Theater. The Baltimore based dance company presents world-class, authentic African art in the form of dance, music, and folkways for national and international audiences. Sankofa Dance Theater’s work is rooted in healing and bringing intercultural understanding to the global village while staying true to the definition of the word “Sankofa” — which means to learn from the past in an effort to build for the future. The show will begin promptly at 2:30pm and will feature a special appearance by spoken word artists Hannah Drake and Tytianna Wells smith –performing A Mother’s Tears. Tickets for Sunday’s are available on Eventbrite and at Better Days Records West (Lyles Mall). Proceeds will go towards the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. We would like to thank The Brown Forman Foundation, The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureaus, and Metro Louisville for sponsoring this event, and their dedication to making world renowned talent accessible to the larger community.

The African Heritage Festival was founded in 2013 when Bridge Kids International approached KCAAH about hosting the event at the Center as a way to build relationships among and celebrate Louisville’s African Diaspora. In four years, the event has grown from a mostly indoor event to a street festival and has more than doubled in size. Bridge Kids continues to coordinate the overall planning, but the African Heritage Festival has truly become the pride of all of the presenting organizations, planning committee, participants and volunteers.

Bridge Kids International is a Louisville, KY based global non-profit organization helping young people of Africa and the African Diaspora, aged 13-25, unleash their social entrepreneurial spirits to solve economic development, education, environmental, girls’ rights, and health challenges and build sustainable communities.  Bridge Kids operates from a belief that the interaction between culture, community, and connection leads to healing, restoration, and the evolution of individuals and communities.  BKI is rooted in African heritage culture, works to build communities that nurture young people, and seeks to strengthen relationships across Africa and the African Diaspora. Bridge Kids currently operates in 6 countries – Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal and the USA.

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage’s (KCAAH) mission is to enhance the public’s knowledge about the history, heritage and cultural contributions of African Americans in Kentucky. In addition to its commitment to preserving the traditions and accomplishments of the past, the Center is a vital, contemporary institution, providing space for cultural programs, exhibitions and performances of all types. KCAAH’s brand is “One More River to Cross,” a history examined through Kentucky stories about African American history from its African origins through the Freedom Struggle against slavery and Jim Crow laws, to the modern Civil and Human Rights Movements in the 20th century.